R5 Nibbles, December 2011: Restaurant Openings, Closings, Kitchen Changes, and Food Events in Westchester County, NY

The long-vacant Inn at Pound Ridge will have an acclaimed restaurateur moving in; Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten of Waccabuc is chef-owner of 14 restaurants internationally (including his flagship, Jean Georges in Manhattan, one of only seven U.S. restaurants to have garnered three Michelin stars this year), will move into the shuttered restaurant at 258 Westchester Avenue. Architect Thomas Juul-Hansen will redesign the landmarked structure, which was built in 1833. // Celebrate Christmas Kelly-style—that’s Chef Peter X. Kelly—by attending the Xaviars Christmas Dinner and Holiday Cabaret. The celebration, held at X2O Xaviars on the Hudson (71 Water Grant St, Yonkers 914-965-1111; xaviars.com), includes a four-course dinner with wine, open bar, and a laugh-filled cabaret with the chef’s brothers, Ned and Paul Kelly. Book ASAP. Seatings on December 9, 11, 16, and 18 at 7 pm are $150 pp. December 11 and 18 seatings at 1 pm are $100 pp (matinée price) // At Local (75 S Greeley Ave, Chappaqua 914-238-0698; chappaqualocal.com), Chef Maggie Harrs, a graduate of Natural Gourmet Institute in Manhattan, cooks up vegan soups and stews, organic hot dogs and whole-grain burritos, salads, sandwiches, and baked goods. The breads are from Balthazar Bakery; organic ice creams hail from Ronnybrook Farm—with organic hot fudge and caramel. Adam Strahl, a former dining-room captain for Blue Hill at Stone Barns, owns the café. Main dishes are $12 and under. Local is open Tuesday to Sunday for lunch and dinner // Paul Caputo, the previous chef/owner of Gina Marie’s Bella Vita in Mount Vernon, has opened Chianti Ristorante (174 Marbledale Rd, Tuckahoe 914-346-8844; restaurantchianti.com) in the space that housed Joe’s Quarry Inn. Dishes to try include rigatoni with broccoli rabe; capellini with ground sausage, peas, and chopped tomatoes; and a 16-ounce steak Campagnola. For dessert: chocolate ravioli. Chianti is open every day for lunch and dinner // The owner of The Grape Exchange wine store is set to open The Beer Necessities (Quaker Ridge Shopping Center, 11 Quaker Ridge Rd, New Rochelle; no phone as of press time), a craft beer and gourmet food shop. More than 500 craft and micro brews will be offered, plus prepared takeout barbecue, glassware, marinades, spice rubs, and artisan cheeses and charcuterie //

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Photo courtesy of Jean Georges Management

Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten

Photo by Tara Thayer

Cavatelli al Zucca, made with butternut squash, shiitake mushrooms, and shredded radicchio, is just one of many new items at Via Vianti!

Westchester Burger Co. in White Plains now has a twin in Rye Brook (275 S Ridge St 914-305-6095; westchesterburger.com). Approximately 20 burgers are offered ($7 to $16), including the 8-ounce South Beach salmon burger and the 12-ounce Balboa with Swiss cheese, frizzled onions, and bacon // BGR The Burger Joint (20 S Moger Ave, Mount Kisco 914-864-2151; bgrtheburgerjoint.com) is the latest hamburger eatery to open in the county. The 17-location mini-chain offers hormone-free, grain-fed beef grilled over an open flame; fries topped with Parmesan, rosemary, or roasted garlic; plus shakes, vintage sodas, beer, and wine. BGR is open every day from 11 am to 10 pm // Expected to open before the end of the month in the storefront that previously held Palmer Art is Crush Wine Bar (1985 Palmer Ave, Larchmont 914-834-6600; crushwinebars.com) // The king of frozen yogurt chains, Pinkberry, is opening its first nearby, non-Manhattan shop in Greenwich, Connecticut (369 Greenwich Ave 203-863-2000; pinkberry.com) // A three-course, $39 prix fixe will be offered at Bistro Z (DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Tarrytown, 455 S Broadway, Tarrytown 914-524-6410; bistroz.com) December 15 through the 26. Guests will choose from fennel-potato soup or plum and baby arugula salad; poached halibut, duck à l’orange, or grilled 14-ounce rib eye; and a spiced-apple cake or Yule log. Tax and tip are not included // Wines & Spirits at Cheers (Golden Horseshoe Shopping Center, 1070 Wilmot Rd, Scarsdale 914-472-1280; cheerswineandspirits.com), a new premium wines and spirits store, specializes in rare aged Scotches, vintage wines, and an extensive Kosher wine selection. Wines & Spirits at Cheers is open every day // New items to try on the winter menu at Via Vanti! (2 Kirby Plz, Mount Kisco Metro-North station, Mount Kisco 914-666-6400; viavanti.com) include crispy oven-baked mozzarella and ricotta fritters; a salad of chicken tossed with Greek yogurt, apples, sundried cranberries, and oranges; wild boar sausage pizza with roasted tomatoes, caramelized onions, and smoked mozzarella; and warm chocolate pudding cake with pumpkin gelato // Karma Lounge of Westchester (175 Main St, Ossining 914-488-5999; karmaloungeofwestchester.com) has added new items to its menu including linguine with shrimp, mussels, and chorizo ($19); chimichurri skirt steak ($21); pan-roasted Long Island duck ($21); and braised pork shank ($23).

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